Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Knoxville Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Alimony > How Much Alimony Do You Pay Your Ex-Spouse If You Relied on Your Parents’ Financial Support During Your Marriage

How Much Alimony Do You Pay Your Ex-Spouse If You Relied on Your Parents’ Financial Support During Your Marriage


Many families live beyond their means; having a family court scrutinize your finances during your divorce case often comes as a rude awakening.  When you argue that you cannot afford to pay enough alimony to provide your ex-spouse with luxuries, you are also admitting that you cannot afford those luxuries for yourself and probably should not have spent as much money as you did when you were married.  The court divides marital assets and debts in the divorce judgment, based on the need and the income potential of each party.  The goal is for both spouses to keep a similar standard of living to what they had during the marriage, but if your marital lifestyle was the result of irresponsible borrowing, the court cannot require you to go deeper into debt to continue to support your ex-spouse after you divorce.  If the court is asking you to pay your ex more alimony than you can afford without borrowing, contact a Tennessee alimony lawyer.

You Can’t Count on Your Former In-Laws to Bankroll Your Alimony Award

David and Halle Goodman were married from 1982 until 1995 and had two children together.  Halle had shown signs of mental illness since her adolescence, and by 1994 was undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder; she was hospitalized twice for mental illness shortly before she and David separated.  Halle was not employed for most of the marriage; she had only a few short-term part-time jobs and volunteer jobs.  David attended medical school and a residency in pediatrics; when the parties separated in 1995, he began practicing pediatrics in Arkansas.

For most of the marriage, David’s parents were a major source of financial support to their son and his wife and children.  David’s mother Donna was the beneficiary of several trusts, which she planned to bequeath to David upon her death; she was still alive when David and Halle divorced.  The money from Donna’s trusts came to David in the form of loans that he was supposed to repay at an unspecified date.  When David and Halle divorced in 1995, the court required David to pay child support, as well as paying for the children’s medical insurance, uninsured medical expenses, temple membership, religious education, and extracurricular activities.  It also awarded Halle permanent alimony; despite her relative youth, it determined that she could not be rehabilitated because of her health and lack of employment history.  During the divorce process, David borrowed $68,000 from his mother, and Halle ran up $22,000 in credit card debt, mostly on luxuries for the children, such as go-carts and a second computer and printer.  When David appealed the alimony award, the court reduced the amount of alimony he had to pay Halle each month, but the alimony was still permanent.

Contact an Attorney Today for Help

An experienced Knoxville alimony lawyer will help you if your ex-spouse is unable to work but you are unable to fund a lifestyle for her similar to what you had before the divorce.  Contact Patrick L. Looper for help today.


Facebook Twitter LinkedIn